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With a statement on the President’s website and following political debate on the issue, President Tabaré Vázques announced on 7 September that Uruguay will leave the TISA negotiations.
After the criticism of many politicians in the US and EU, finally this is a concrete decision which will weaken the negotiations front. This is a success for the large alliance of civil society organisations that are fighting against the TISA negotiations. But in Uruguay it is particularly a success for PSI which, with its affiliates, has been engaged in the past two years in lobbying the government to withdraw from the TISA negotiations. The argument was crucial in the presidential campaign last year and it has been growing in the political debate ever since, with a strong opposition in the country.
Ismael Cortazzo, responsible for international affairs at Federación de Funcionarios de Obras Sanitarias del Estado, a PSI affiliate in Uruguay, says, “the decision by President Vasquez is a success for Uruguayan workers and their unions. It is a success for democracy, as the opinion of the large alliance of democratic organizations has been taken seriously into account by the government”. Cortazzo adds proudly that PSI’s work on TISA was mentioned several times in the political debate and contributed towards taking the final decision.
Rosa Pavanelli, PSI General Secretary, says, “it is in days like this one that you see the value of the international trade union movement and global campaigns. The support of PSI affiliates has been crucial in changing the Uruguay government’s mind and this is a significant example of how important it is to coordinate our efforts. An example that we hope others will soon follow.”